why is red oak cheaper than pine?

A question from a dilettante woodworker:
I'm building (several) little bookcases for my kids, each cut out of a 1"x12"x10' board Made a prototype out of scrap pine, then went looking for a sturdier wood. Pine board at Home Depot -- $18.75 Red oak board -- $6.25
2 questions (1) am I wrong to think that a nice hard oak board will make a better (defined as "less likely to collapse when abused by little children") (2) why is pine so expensive?
Thanks for any thoughts.
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The red oak was miss priced. I pay $3 or more for a 1x2x4. Buy all they have
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My thought is the red oak board is either mismarker or that is the price per linear foot. I pay about $2.80 a board foot for kiln dried red oak in the rough at my hardwood supplier. What you mention -- a 1"x12"x10' is equilavent to 10 board feet so it should be roughly $28 if I had to guess... And that would be from a hardwood supplier rough sawn, not S4S (surfaced 4 sides) like the stuff at HD. Although their wood is not sold by the board foot since it is all dimensioned, IIRC the prices are typically 3+ times the amount charged for in the rough stock.
Red oak will of course hold up to alot more abuse than pine. You can push you thumb nail into a piece of pine its so soft.
Good luck... If that oak really is $6.25 for an S4S 1"x12"x10' board buy all they have!!! (if it is in good shape that is)
-- Brian www.wood-workers.com/users/lavoie

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I wasn't thinking before, that is exactly how they price the bigger stock. $6.25 a FOOT, $62.50 per 10' board.
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I can just imagine the look on your face when it scanned at the register. HD prices on wood convinced me I needed a planer to finish my own. Jointer is next big tool. Ed
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wrote in message

stock.
Jointer
Heck iffen you really want to save. Do like we do in my shop. We start with the log. OK so the owner of the shop I work in also owns a sawmill.
D.Mo
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snipped-for-privacy@virginia.edu says...

Answer to #1, yes oak will make a more sturdy bookcase, and better looking too. Answer to #2, Home Depot is nuts. Actually I would triple check the price on the oak. If its really 1"x12"x10' for $6.25, I would buy a bunch of it. That price figures out to .62 a board foot which is incredibly cheap for oak by the piece.
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It has to be a mistake! Red oak 1"x6"x6' last time I checked at the Borg was in the nieghborhood of $12-$15. Your $6.25 price runs out to roughly $.62 a board foot! (It propably was mis-priced. Should have been $62.50!) Rough sawed here runs about $3, the local Borg price runs about $4-$5 a board foot. Greg
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I'm quite sure that the local HD prices the maple and oak by the linear foot with a different price for each combination of thickness and width. Assuming that yours does the same thing those boards would be $62.50 each ($6.25 per board foot).
John
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And as far as Pine being expensive....Can you say Spotted Owl?
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Furniture pine has gone up about 50% in the last 20 years, about the same as most hardwoods. FWIW they don't clear cut hardwoods.
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If you are going to be doing a lot more like this, I could suggest you do what I did. I contacted WoodMiser and they were happy to give me a few names of people aound me who bought them. I now have several people who can sell me good hardwood from around $1.00 - $3.00 board foot. Works nicely for me and nicely for them.

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David Byrne wrote:

The question should really be, "Why is the oak so cheap?" I ran in to exactly the same thing and found out that the pine was per board, the oak was per ft. Makes the oak too expensive, but it makes more sense. Dave in Fairfax
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Thanks very much to all for the information. It was indeed $6.25 a linear foot. (ouch!) I mistakenly thought the Home Depot prices were consistent across wood types. (That would be too easy!)
Will look into rough cut hardwoods and getting a planer. (And using a decent lumber yard...)
Dave Byrne
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On 27 Dec 2003 10:31:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@virginia.edu (David Byrne) brought forth from the murky depths:

That price was for CLEAR pineywood, obviously. It's harder to come by than knotty/warped/twisted crap they sell for garage shelving. (Though MDF is more often found there now.)

You should be able to pick up a used planer for under $100. I did.
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Two thoughts come to mind about HD: They sell pine in different grades, their "D select" clear pine is about 50% higher in cost than #2 common in my area, and they sell their hardoowd boards by the FOOT. Are you sure that the price wasn't $6.25 per foot for an oak 1X12?
Also, it would not be unheard of for their cashier to make a msitake when charging out the dwood, especially if it didn't have a barcode on it.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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